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Success Story

State Behavioral Health Redesign: Staying Compliant and Delivering Quality Care

Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCB) is the largest behavioral healthcare provider in the Greater Cincinnati region.

Their 700 caring staff members create life-changing outcomes for 30,000 people of all ages affected by mental illness and addictions. Through two different grants from SAMHSA, GCB has been on “the cutting edge,” providing integrated behavioral health and primary care for years through their innovative programs and service delivery models. Since its inception, GCB has maintained the highest level of national accreditation through CARF for all health programs.

The Challenge

GCB is a national leader in behavioral healthcare and related services, providing research-backed, accredited treatment programs. With recent changes in Ohio, they must be more inventive in finding ways to meet the high standards of care, make a shift in service delivery and increase the use of care managers and medical assistants. GCB has always prided itself on being innovative and coming up with creative ways to deliver care. With the current shift to managed care, it has become a necessity.

The Solution

GCB uses Relias to manage staff training, CARF requirements and CMS requirements to ensure compliance with policies and procedures and to deliver the variety of topics staff need to remain competent and competitive in service delivery. The quality of the training has been appreciated by management and staff alike. They use the learning management system (LMS) not only for compliance reasons but also to enhance staff learning so they can impact care in a meaningful way.

John Sarra, VP of HR, commented, “Relias has really been an effective tool to meet our compliance needs and as a resource for staff to earn CEUs towards licensure. We view and promote Relias as a benefit to our staff and prospective employees. Having 24/7 access to certified trainings is very attractive to current and future staff from a professional development standpoint.”

With the recent shift in reimbursements in Ohio last year, GCB has had to proactively adjust to changing funder requirements. One critical area is the ability to document that staff have received the appropriate training in order to provide the services delivered. Failure to accurately track and document this required training puts the agency at risk for having to reimburse payments received for services delivered that the employee is not deemed qualified to provide. According to John, “We use our Relias system to track all training staff receive—even if it’s outside the vast number of courses they offer through the system—this way we have one centralized database of an employee’s complete training record.”

Top Benefits of the Relias Solution

Quality of training

Relias offers more than just check-the-box, click- through training to be compliant. The training is meaningful and useful, so that staff want to learn.

Blended learning

They have converted live training to a blended approach (prework is done in the Relias LMS before the live, in-class session is completed), which cuts down seat time of live training sessions. They save time and money, and they lessen any negative impact on patient care due to pulling people away from direct care for a full day or multiple days.

Positive culture

Compared to the national average, GCB has lower turnover and better retention. They have a culture of supporting and valuing their staff and the clinical practice. Leaders do not ask professionals to do anything beyond scope that they wouldn’t do, or that staff aren’t trained in or competent to perform. Relias contributes to the positive culture and respect for the profession.

What would you say to someone who isn’t using Relias?

“I’d ask them why they’re still doing paper charting too? Because it sounds like they are way, way back in the past. Ultimately, you’re paying more money in the long run.”
—John Sarra, VP of Human Resources at GCB


GCB hasn’t had claims rejected due to training.

Quality of clinical care

Staff are spending more time on patient care and less time pulled away for all-day training.

Improved efficiency

The Relias LMS saves time and money on managing, delivering and tracking staff training, whether it’s live or online.

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